Neil Lennon orders last-gasp spy mission on Hibs' Euro foes
Hibs boss Neil Lennon has wasted no time in beginning to build his dossier on Europa League rivals NSI Runavik in ordering a spy mission on the Faroe Islands minnows.
Within 48 hours of the draw for the first qualifying round, Lennon had dispatched members of his backroom staff to take advantage of a last chance to see Runavik in action before they face the Easter Road club in a double header, with Greek outfit Asteras Tripoli awaiting the winners in the next round.
Hibs will face Runavik at home in the first leg on Thursday, July 12, before Lennon’s squad make the 880-mile round journey for the return match at the Svangaskard Stadium in Toftier seven days later.
Although the Capital side are firm favourites to win over the two legs even although the first match in Edinburgh will be their opening competitive game of the season, Lennon is determined to leave nothing to chance by learning all he can about the Berti Division side.
With Runavik not back in domestic action until after the Europa League clashes, hasty arrangements were made for two of Lennon’s staff to fly to the Faroes for Friday night’s away match against Skala.
Runavik, however, survived a scare as they travelled to that league game, their coach coming off the road as it passed a large lorry travelling in the opposite direction. Luckily no-one was injured and the Runavik players were able to continue their journey and fulfil the fixture.
Runavik, with 40-year-old Frodi Benjaminsen in their starting line-up, looked poised to overhaul B36 Torshavn and take second place in the league when attacking midfielder Petur Knudsen gave them the lead with his fifth goal of the season with only a minute left on the clock.
However, they were forced to settle for a draw as Skala’s Paetur Jacobsen equalised in added-on time.